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Cheap and Green for Back to School

Some ideas for getting back to school supplies that are cheap and/or eco-friendly

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5674266/where_you_can_buy_recycled_green_backpacks.html?cat=46

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5674508/where_to_buy_discount_school_supplies.html?cat=25

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The Appeal American Idol & Other Reality TV Shows

http://telewatcher.com/reality/american-idol/why-we-watch-reality-tv-shows/

Getting The Most From Your Grocery Budget

Getting The Most From Your Grocery Budget.

This Blog is Really Dusty

It has been some time, I realize.  I’ve been under the weather, out of sorts and generally up to my neck in personal drama for the past several months.  My teeth are my current enemy and they fight dirty (no matter how many times I blast them with fluoride and burning mint-less mouth wash).

I have been continuing my pursuit of writing for a living, but the going is slow.  I continue to write, pretty much daily, and I get paid for most of it, so that is definitely progress from when I started this baby.  I haven’t tried to send out a manuscript in a while because of all those issues I mentioned above, but I have been working on my fiction, still.

Got2BeGreen is still chugging along, and I continue to be pleased by my association with them.  I am now a Featured Craft Contributor on AC, which means I have to publish 1 crafting article per month that is not an assignment, like this one on Papier-mâché, and I get 3 craft assignments per month.  I also continue writing at TB, though I am not generally acknowledged on the final product.  That’s ok.  I don’t write for the recognition, really.  I write for writing.  I get paid to do what I love.  I don’t need to engrave it.  It’s really, really great when I can, but I don’t have to.

I am still in frequent contact with my sponsored child, still making odd things and cooking lots of brilliant yummies from scratch, like sour dough bread and molten chocolate cakes (which taste like they are made from the tears of angels and unicorn laughter, but are not) and strawberry cake with clotted cream & berry filling…is it me or is it hungry in here?

I have learned a new craft or two, made a few new friends, and read many books.

(Lindsey – sorry I didn’t get a chance to respond sooner.  My blogroll is really for me, so I put them under names that are significant to me, so I’ll remember what they are.  Thanks.)

I’m Back! Did you miss me?

Well, as someone was kind enough to point out, it has been a while since I have posted here.  I haven’t even been posting my AC articles because, for one thing, it is terribly inconvenient the way they have it set up now (auto-posting stopped working some months ago and is apparently low on their priority list).  For another, in mid-November, I ended up in the hospital with cellulitis and didn’t get much of anything done for that month except Thanksgiving, not even writing many AC articles, so there wasn’t a lot to post.  I intend to post what I did write over the next few days, though.

However, I have been writing since I last posted.  On one of the other sites for which I write, I have advanced to receiving direct orders from clients.  Not a lot yet, but enough so that I feel some justification that I am moving in the right direction.  AC has been slow with the paying articles, but my performance payments have started to increase, so it has sort of evened out.  TB, on the other hand, has been getting more articles than when I first signed up, and I’ve just been really pleased with them in general.  When they got a big influx of writers while orders were lower, they actually froze their intake of authors, so that their existing writers would have assignments.

I’ve hardly written for the 4th website at all, and not for months because you don’t get to claim any assignments, you all just vie for the same ones.  Very competitive and the articles are often ones I wouldn’t want to write for that price, anyway.

And then there is Got2BeGreen.  Still happy I stumbled across their ad (nearly a year ago!).  I think my interview with them was my last article posting on here, actually.  I better get those posted, too.  That reminds me, I’ve got to get an article done for them this week.

Later!

Reuters, etc

So, I know, it’s been a while.  I need to write more often, etc.  I was busy doing other things that were (mostly) not related to writing or cooking or crafting, so I didn’t have much to write about here.  Since this was meant as a way to document my attempts to make a living as a writer, though, some reason developments have brought me back with some things to say.

First of all, there was a setback at the beginning of the week because Associated Content took away thousands of page views from their writers.  They claim they were “false views”.  They claim not to know when it started, yet still insist, they know the views were false.  They have not answered how they know the views were false, what criteria was used to determine this, nor have they explained how they could find these views, but not know the date they began.  Or why such a thing would be happening to ALL of us – one or two people, I could understand, maybe one of them rigged something or maybe inadvertantly sent their pages to a site that was rigged already, but all of us?  No.  Makes no sense.  All we are being told is, the views are gone and we aren’t getting them back, no matter how much our performance payments dropped as a result.  Personally, I lost over 4000 views on ONE article.  Not sure on the others, but I watched that one,  because it was about the passing of Dan Miller, the local tv anchor from where I grew up.  I cared not only because of the money, but I liked knowing so many people cared about him.  According to AC, it was 4000 less than the daily totals indicated and so I’m doubly upset.

I was already unhappy with AC because I got more targeted calls, or rather, got emails saying I had more targeted calls, but I was never able to claim them.  I sent message after message trying to get a response as to what was going on (they all had short deadlines) and finally they sent me a “testing” call via the queuing system (NOT email so it really taught them nothing) that I was able to claim, but it was an irritating situation.  Their email system hasn’t been sending out notices on all the published articles, either.  I didn’t even get one when one of my articles was declined.

This leads me to the last development.  I got a $15 partner call from Reuters!  (Well, actually, I claimed 3 VERY similar calls and it took me 3 times to actually get the thing accepted.)  Sounds awesome, right?  My name on a national news organization website?  Yeah, not so much when they changed every sentence in the article before publication.  If I am exagerrating, it is by 3 sentences or less.  It’s as though they slapped my name on a story someone else wrote from my notes – which, really, is essentially what they did do.  I knew AC was “reworking” one paragraph because they checked with me as to whether it was accurate or not.  So I expected a few changes.  I did not expect the whole thing would be different.  I was totally excited until I saw it.  Deflated doesn’t even begin to describe my mood once I’d read it.

So, long story longer, I am now making more money writing, but I’m much less happy than I was about it….

On the other hand

I found a story I started a couple years ago that I’ve been wanting to get back into writing and it is as good as I remember it being.  That’s not arrogance you’re reading, that’s relief.  Sometimes, they aren’t.  Sometimes when I put them down for a while and go back, they are dreadful and I don’t pick them up again.  Not this time.  It’s good, good enough that I am enjoying reading it as I type it up.  That’s always a good indicator – coz if I don’t want to read it, neither will anyone else!

So it isn’t all bad.  I just have to pursue other avenues, focus more on  G2BG, and get back into trying to sell some fiction.

[UPDATE: 6/8/09- now it appears AC stopped posting my new articles here some time ago…over a month, in fact. That explains a lot]

life imitating weather

it has been such a strange couple of weeks.  so much going on, so many decisions to be made.

i need to find a way forward with the writing, maybe, as i don’t want to be stuck…but right now i am saving my full creativity for other things and letting the writing be what it is.  any other decisions on how to move forward will have to wait.

had that conference call wednesday and still haven’t gotten around to writing up my article on it.  need to get that done as soon as i can, but so unmotivated.  this writing i am doing now is not work, but release, and i feel more a necessity at this time.

had that meeting friday about the possible teaching job that would allow me to continue with creative freedom, doing something else i love and getting paid, but i have to decide where to be in july and august – and possibly may – and i am not “the decider”, that is for sure.  decisions are my weakness, always have been.  i’ve tried for years to overcome that little chink in my armor, but for every bit of progress i make, a few weeks out of practice and its as if i’d never made a choice in my life.  kind of pathetic, really.

i don’t know why i am worried about my writing getting stale.  i am writing about important things like eco-friendly this and that, in addition to the more fluffy pieces…and it isn’t as though i don’t have to finesse the words.  i can’t recall one that i’ve just phoned in, though i may have done.

hm, i guess i really should get on some “work” writing now…